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Durham e-Theses
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Online Optimisation of Casualty Processing in Major Incident Response

Wilson, Duncan (2015) Online Optimisation of Casualty Processing in Major Incident Response. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Recent emergency response operations to Mass Casualty Incidents (MCIs) have been criticised for a lack of coordination, implying that there is clear potential for response operations to be improved and for corresponding benefits in terms of the health and well-being of those affected by such incidents. In this thesis, the use of mathematical modelling, and in particular optimisation, is considered as a means with which to help improve the coordination of MCI response.

Upon reviewing the nature of decision making in MCIs and other disaster response operations in practice, this work demonstrates through an in-depth review of the available academic literature that an important problem has yet to be modelled and solved using an optimisation methodology. This thesis involves the development of such a model, identifying an appropriate task scheduling formulation of the decision problem and a number of objective functions corresponding to the goals of the MCI response decision makers. Efficient solution methodologies are developed to allow for solutions to the model, and therefore to the MCI response operation, to be found in a timely manner.

Following on from the development of the optimisation model, the dynamic and uncertain nature of the MCI response environment is considered in detail. Highlighting the lack of relevant research considering this important aspect of the problem, the optimisation model is extended to allow for its use in real-time. In order to allow for the utility of the model to be thoroughly examined, a complementary simulation is developed and an interface allowing for its communication with the optimisation model specified. Extensive computational experiments are reported, demonstrating both the danger of developing and applying optimisation models under a set of unrealistic assumptions, and the potential for the model developed in this work to deliver improvements in MCI response operations.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Emergency response; disaster management; optimisation; scheduling; metaheuristics; simulation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Engineering and Computing Science, School of (2008-2017)
Thesis Date:2015
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:30 Jan 2015 10:38

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